5 Dec 2012

Minister to investigate beneficiaries flying to Australia.

10:15 am on 5 December 2012

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett is to investigate how many beneficiaries have had their airfares paid to fly to Australia to work.

Mrs Bennett says she has seen no evidence that is happening, but Labour's social development spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says taxpayers are picking up the tab for unemployed New Zealanders to fly across the Tasman for jobs.

During Parliament's Question Time, Ms Ardern asked Mrs Bennett how many times the transition to work grant had been used to buy air tickets to Australia for job seekers.

Mrs Bennett said she doesn't know but it's made clear to staff they shouldn't use grants to buy tickets to Australia.

But under further questioning Mrs Bennett said she would investigate.

Ms Ardern says the revelations are further proof the Government has no interest in creating work opportunities here.

The Beneficiary Advocacy Federation says beneficiaries should not have to move to Australia to get a job.